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You’ve signed your little one up for every Gymboree class before she can even crawl. You’ve read every book on early motor and cognitive development known to man, but even despite your best efforts you may be teaching your little one a few things that weren’t apart of today’s standard baby learning practices.

A new study done by the University of Oregon showed that babies actually know when their parents squabble in front of them and it doesn’t make them happy.

Researchers studied 20 infants between the ages of 6 months and 12 months old at their regular bedtimes. Male researchers read gibberish in angry, moderate and natural tones to the tots. The babies were given MRI scans during this time and the scans showed that even while sleeping, the babies responded differently to different tones of voice. Babies that heard the angry tones had a stronger reaction in the area of the brain that regulations stress and emotions. This may mean that kids that are exposed to constant arguments at home are being shaped differently in how they handle stressful and emotional situations.

The moral of the story is that it’s best to leave the grown up discussions and angry tones of voice to a time and place away from your kids.

Do you think arguing in front of your infant can shape them for life?




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  3. That baby in the photo is so precious. This doesn’t surprise me, I noticed little babies cry when they know you are sad or hurt. So I do think babies understand emotional pain and hurt.

  4. My parents don’t argue in front of us, but I’ve seen my brothers as bebe’s react to others arguing in front of them. Even as little bebe’s they have reacted, then calmed when removed from the situation.

    I don’t know if it lasts for life but 16 years of that has to scar a child in some way. My father’s mother was (I have no idea if she still is) a screamer; lets just say therapy, a good wife and our priests has been good for him.

  5. Arguing in front of an infant only creates annoyance to that infant. They aren’t aware of what’s going on, they only hear unpleasant tones. It shouldn’t be done.

    • I think that your comment is like the notorious Mr. Mackie who says “Drugs are bad….” Anyone who has watched South Park knows what I am referring to. Duh we should not argue in front of our kids. We are the examples of how they should react to situations. So, if the parents have a disagreement and they yell at each other, then the child is viewing that and applying how they feel they should react to situations later….however, parents don’t be hard on yourself. We all know the above information, and we all try to not react in ways we find inappropriate, but it happens. And one thing that we need to know as parents is that we can always react better next time. It’s not like little Johnny is going to be affected for the rest of his life because he saw a few arguments between his parents. His mind is compiled of years of reference material on how to react to things, so the more positive reaction we have, the more he will take from that. So from one parent to another, just keep trying harder everyday to be the person you want for your kids and one day you will work up to it. But don’t beat yourself up over these semantics, WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES. :)

      • Say what now? Your comment doesn’t remotely connect with my comment. Maybe you were thinking something else when you read this.

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